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Name and shame A-League divers: Merrick

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/10/2016 Cathy Walshe

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick © Steve Christo/Corbis via Getty Image Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick It's time to name and shame diving A-League players, Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick believes.

New A-League boss Greg O'Rourke, in Wellington as he makes his way around the competition's clubs on a familiarisation tour, agrees simulation is an issue which needs addressing.

"We don't want it as the FFA, and it's something in the Australian and New Zealand marketplace, that the fans do not want."

But while Merrick believes the problem should be solved by referees, backed up by the A-League's extended match review panel, O'Rourke says it's up to the clubs to find a solution.

"We've addressed the simulation question over the last two weeks with our clubs, and we're trying to cut it out," O'Rourke told media at Phoenix training on Saturday.

"It's a blight on the game. It's un-Australian, it's un-New Zealand, and we don't want it.

"We'll be working hard to cut it out from the game. There's a few ways to do this, but the first thing is to work with the teams, the clubs and ultimately the players to say that it's just unacceptable."

New A-League boss Greg O'Rourke agrees simulation is an issue which needs addressing. © AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts New A-League boss Greg O'Rourke agrees simulation is an issue which needs addressing. There's nothing new about simulation in the A-League, Merrick said, adding he'd had players while coaching at Melbourne Victory who were known for diving:

"If you shook hands with them, they'd fall down."

Referees needed to take a strong stand against diving, with video replays for the match review panel, and a name and shame policy.

"It's not up to the clubs - when (players) are sanctioned by the referees or the match review panel, that will be a much better thing," Merrick said.

"What's the point? I know you might get something in the short term, but in the long term, you lose your reputation as a player.

"I think it's important the reputation of a player is as an honest player, getting in the box and scoring goals, not looking for penalties all the time."

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